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Thermal Management of Visible LEDs

Thermal Management of Visible LEDs

The purpose of this application bulletin is to answer design questions about high-power visible light emitting diodes (LEDs).

LEDs fulfill a growing number of applications. Visible LEDs have a high luminous efficacy as compared to incandescent and fluorescent bulbs – and while incandescent and fluorescent bulbs have already reached near-maximum luminous efficacy – the efficacy of visible LEDs is forecasted to increase in the future.


Typically, LEDs have been driven at a low power with a minimum power dissipation of 150 mW — which meant that most lighting applications required numerous low-power LEDs. The new high-power visible LEDs have power dissipations ranging from 500 milliwatts to as much as 10 watts in a single package. With improving luminous efficacy, these high-power LED components can and will replace other lighting technologies in most applications.